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The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) selected vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) as the preferred metric to comply with Senate Bill 743 (SB 743) and the updated CEQA Guidelines went into effect on April 27, 2019.  While lead agencies have until July 1, 2020 before VMT impact analysis becomes mandatory, vehicle delay and LOS are no longer the basis for transportation impact analysis under CEQA.  Lead agencies must now reconsider their CEQA transportation impact study procedures and address the following implementation questions.

  • What is the preferred methodology for estimating and forecasting VMT considering that this metric is a required input for air quality, energy, GHG, and now transportation impact analysis in CEQA?
  • What are the significance thresholds for VMT impacts under ‘baseline’ and ‘cumulative’ conditions?
  • Does the lead agency want to take advantage of VMT impact screening?
  • What mitigation does the lead agency consider to be feasible for VMT impacts?

This workshop will provide an overview of the SB 743 changes and explain the methodology and thresholds decisions within the context of the CEQA Guidelines changes and the following related implementation material.

  • Technical Advisory on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA (OPR, December 2018)
  • Local Development – Intergovernmental Review Program Interim Guidance (Caltrans, November 9, 2016)

The workshop will cover land use plans and projects, transportation projects, and regional transportation plans. Participants will learn about the variety of metrics, data, tools, and models that are available for VMT analysis and how tool and model selection in particular can have a substantial effect on analysis outcomes including legal defensibility.
Learning Objectives:

  • SB 743 implementation questions and process
  • VMT analysis methodology options
  • Key choices related to VMT impact significance thresholds and mitigation feasibility
  • Need for substantial evidence in developing lead agency procedures

Course Number: ENVR-80003
Credit: 0.00 unit(s)